“… He shall direct thy paths.”
Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives. But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.
One of my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?” In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…
- What is God’s will ?
- Not my will, but thine be done.
- Thus saith the Lord
- Oh what a feeling
- Open and shut doors
- Summary of the study
In part number 6 of our study lets study… “… He shall direct thy paths”
Ps 25:9-10 (KJV)
The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.All the paths of the LORD [are] mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Prov 3:5-6 (KJV)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Prov 16:9 (KJV)
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
Isa 48:17 (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I [am] the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way [that] thou shouldest go.
Jer 10:23 (KJV)
O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Please notice all the above verses… these are just a few, of many verses that affirm, and then reaffirm, to us the promise that the Lord will show His will to anyone who sincerely desires to follow Him.
Throughout our study we have seen the graciousness of our Lord brought into view. From His first promise to show us His will; to giving us the desire to put His will first; to giving us His Word, the foundation and authority for all our decision making; to giving us thoughts, desires, and a conscience to lead us to His desires for us; to personally intervening in our lives opening and closing opportunities for us; we have His grace clearly shown.
As in every area of our life… we should be always appreciative for His many acts of grace on our behalf.
Now let’s apply all of our previous studies on His will to a very simple example… (please see practical application)
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
For those who are saved…
Keeping our previous studies in mind, lets consider a practical application to our study…
Let’s assume that I am a young man that has been called to preach God’s Word. I am currently seeking a Bible College to begin my studies. I am not sure which college the Lord would have me to attend…. Now what?
Step 1: I can be assured that the Lord has a will for my life, and I can put my full trust in His promises to show it to me.
Step 2: I examine my heart to be sure that it is His will that I desire. In prayer, I lay out my desires, asking Him to bless my efforts. However, I ALWAYS seek His will above any desires I may harbor within.
Step 3: I begin to compile a list of Bible Colleges that would meet my academic needs. I take into account their curriculum, their doctrinal statement, the testimony of their instructors, and the mission statement of the school. Also, the location of the nearest Bible teaching church, the ministries that would be open to me at each school, the cost of the classes, etc etc etc.
I look into the Bible to find the requirements of the position to which I have been called, the major Bible doctrines that should be taught, the requirements of Godly teachers, and the mission of those who are called of the Lord, the Lord’s teachings on indebtedness, etc, etc, etc.
Through this process I should be able to weed out some of the schools due to unscriptural doctrine, ungodly teachers, a lack of opportunities to serve the Lord while in college, excessive, wasteful costs or in some other way, not meeting my needs to prepare me for the ministry to which I have been called.
With the remaining choices left, I am sure that some school choices would seem more appealing than others. Now I have to be honest with myself… since from a Scriptural standpoint, all my remaining choices seem to be basically “equal”; why do some appeal to me more than others?
Is it perhaps, the Holy Spirit, placing in my heart the desire to attend the school the Lord would have for me, or is it simply a fleshly desire that really should not have a part in my decision making process. I come to the conclusion that it is due to the location of the school. I like warmer weather and the school I am drawn to is in the South. For now I take it into account, but I cannot allow it to be the final decision. That desire has no real spiritual significance.
My prayer now should be “Dear Lord, you know my desire to follow your will. Also, you know my desire for warmer weather. To my knowledge, this southern school is no better, or worse, that any of the other schools based upon principles of your Word. Please allow the doors to remain open so that I may attend… but not my will but thine be done.
Step 5: I apply to all the remaining schools, including the southern school… again, through the Lord’s intervention some more of the schools will be eliminated. Of the remaining schools to which I have been accepted, I begin a review of all the Biblical research I had done in step number 3. If the Lord shows me nothing new in His Word and, therefore, all the schools are still on equal footing after a review, then I are free to go to any of the schools to which I have been accepted.
If the southern school is one of the schools to which I have been accepted, I can feel free to go. The Lord has graciously kept the door to this school open for me. I should step through the open door with a thankful heart, knowing He has blessed me with a sound school and given me the desire of my heart.
Please remember, the Lord will hold me responsible to follow the directions of His Word. By researching schools in the context of His Word and then doing a final review, I have done all I can do to follow His teachings. Since He has opened doors to several schools, I can assume these schools would all fit into “His will” for my life. I can go to any I would choose with confidence, I have put His will first and now have His blessings upon me.
Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.
In our search for God’s Will ….
Prayer Principle #6 - At the end of this process we need to thank Him for showing us His will (even if it is a “no” answer or a “you must wait” answer). Also, we must commit ourselves to continued submission as we begin down this new path of life He has opened to us.
For those who have never trusted in Christ…
Just as the Lord opens opportunities to serve Him for His followers, so too, the Lord has opened opportunities to become a follower of Christ. The Lord never promised how long the opportunity to trust in Him would last, but He did make it plain that the opportunity to trust in Him would end someday…
John 12:35 (KJV)
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
None of us know what tomorrow will hold. A car accident, sickness or other tragedy could bring an end to the opportunity we’ve been given to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. That’s why anyone who has not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ should seek His face NOW. We have no promise of a tomorrow. We need to be ready to face eternity while we can.